By: Staci Stallings
There’s something about sleeping for me that sometimes plugs me into something (Someone) far deeper than I can access when I’m not prone and unconscious. Like the other night. I can’t tell you what the dream was about, it’s hazy and very indistinct. But what I do remember is that someone had made life really difficult for me. It wasn’t that I was fighting something or running away from something. It was more that I was angry and in real turmoil at whatever this someone had done.
I remember asking angrily why God had allowed this to happen. It wasn’t my fault. It was nothing I had asked for. It wasn’t even something (from my small perspective) that I had deserved, and yet here it was, on my doorstep making my life miserable.
The weird thing was that in this dream, God actually answered back. Not like a booming voice or anything, just like a whisper in the air. The voice said, “This isn’t really a problem. This is just an opportunity for you to learn to love a little deeper, a little better, a little more than you knew how to before.”
I woke up remembering that line, “This is an opportunity for you to learn to love…”
Some part of me knew even then, half-asleep, that I had gained access to real spiritual wisdom in that moment, and I repeated that over and over to myself so I wouldn’t forget it. “This is an opportunity for you to learn to love…”
How many opportunities have you been given recently to learn to love, a little deeper, a little better, a little more than you knew how to before?
Was it when someone else did something to make you mad? Or when someone didn’t do something they were “supposed” to? Was it a challenge in your schedule, a challenge in your life, or a challenge in your heart? Did you want to forgive, but they really deserved you being mad at them? Or maybe you’ve been mad at them for a long, long time.
Whatever the challenge is, I can assure you that it really is just an opportunity to learn to love a little deeper.
How do you do that?
You stop trying.
No. You really can’t.
That person really IS unlovable. That person really IS too bad for you to forgive.
But here’s the thing.
You’re not in this deal alone. If you’re a Christian, you’ve got Help. You’ve got a HELPER, living right there inside your heart.
You can’t do it, but He can. And He will… if you will let Him.
See, I think the challenges in our lives are really opportunities not to test OUR love (which is puny and insignificant in the face of real challenges), it’s an opportunity for us to back up and let God show us how compassionate He can be. It’s an opportunity to let Him speak, to let Him act, to let Him be our compassion and our peace–even in the midst of trial and tribulation.
God has overcome the world, but He will not force His way into yours unless and until you surrender your life to Him. This is different than accepting Him as your Savior. That’s a great place to start, but I’m talking about a continual, in-this-moment surrendering of your life to Him.
Some people think when you do that, life gets easier. I’m not sure that easier is the right word. More peaceful and joyful, yes. Easier? I don’t know.
Because when you learn to do that, God will send some of the most unlovable people your way… so you can learn to let Him love them through you!
I firmly believe that this is the path to miracles.
So this challenge, whatever it is in your life, is just a cleverly disguised opportunity to learn to love.
Now I’m going back to sleep because it’s the middle of the night, and I just had to share that with you before I forgot…